Abidance

rabz12

Senior Member
Urdu
Hello everyone!

I am going to write an essay on the question 'why do people abide by laws?' could anyone please tell me whether I can use the heading
"Law-Abidance" at the top since i dont want to write the question.

Looking forward
 
  • e174043

    Senior Member
    Turkish,Azerbaijani
    Hello everyone!

    I am going to write an essay on the question 'why do people abide by laws?' Could anyone please tell me whether I can use the heading
    "Law-Abidance" at the top since I dont want to write the question ?

    Looking forward
    I'd say " A Law-Abiding ". I'm not sure there is a word as "abidance"
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    There is a word abidance (and "A law-abiding" would not be suitable, "a" indicates a specific instance of law abiding, and the topic is general). The title "Law Abidance" would be acceptable, I think (I don't see the justification of the hyphen here, though). However, abidance generally collocates with "by" (or to, etc.) and frankly, I think the question form makes a better title.
     

    e174043

    Senior Member
    Turkish,Azerbaijani
    There is a word abidance (and "A law-abiding" would not be suitable, "a" indicates a specific instance of law abiding, and the topic is general). The title "Law Abidance" would be acceptable, I think (I don't see the justification of the hyphen here, though). Frankly, I think the question form makes a better title.
    I haven't found "abidance" neither in Cambridge's Dictionary nor Oxford's. Are you sure there it is? or with this meaning?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    "Law Abidance" sounds odd to me, even though I understand it. "Abidance By The Law" sounds a little better. "Abiding By The Law" sounds a little better than that, at least to me. "Obedience To The Law" is how I would normally expect to see it, or perhaps "Obeying The Law".
     

    rabz12

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    As far as my understanding goes, this term 'abidance' exists. All i want to know is that whether it is a phenomenon or not? and why you people are collocating it with "by".. What if I say "Law abidance by the people" or simply "Abidance by the people"..
     
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    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I'm not sure what you mean by "whether it is a phenomenon or not".

    "Abidance" is not a common word at all in my experience. It does not refer specifically to the law, so "Abidance by the people" doesn't tell us what they are abiding by. "Abide" is also used in religious texts and hymns, such as "Abide With Me". It is an old-fashioned word, to my way of thinking. In some U.S. dialects it is also used to mean "put up with", as in "I can't abide his nonsense." It is not a word I would encounter in everyday conversation or in business documents or correspondence.

    I get the impression you think that it is a common word used specifically with the law. That is not my experience at all here in the U.S.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Abidance is not a common term, but it exists. It could also mean "the act of dwelling in a place" (There were shepherds abiding in the fields).
    "Abide by" is a common collocation. Some dictionaries even have separate entries for it, e.g. from Merriam-Webster: abide by 1 : to conform to <abide by the rules> .
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Hello everyone!

    I am going to write an essay on the question 'why do people abide by laws?' could anyone please tell me whether I can use the heading
    "Law-Abidance" at the top since i dont want to write the question.

    Looking forward
    Using Law Abidance, with or without the hyphen, in a heading is a correct thing to do. It is your subject after all.

    The heading has one main function: to capture the reader's interest. :tick:

    GF..

    In your case you may wish to add a question mark?
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Those who cast doubts on the correctness, or indeed existence, of any word should really check before expressing opinions.
    The simplest check is to look up the word in a dictionary, for example abidance.
    From there, you will see a link to the use of this word in context.
    There aren't many examples, which suggests that this word is unusual.
    What's more, few of the links are to UK or US sources.

    As a generalisation, that suggests that "abidance" exists and is in use, but is seldom used by native speakers.

    A quick check with the BNC and COCA confirms this.

    On that basis, I would advise against using abidance unless you are certain that your audience will understand and accept it.

    BNC - British National Corpus
    COCA - Corpus of Contemporary American English
     
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